The Importance of Beach Clean Up Events

From the 14th-17th of September, hundreds of beach clean up events are taking place around the UK.

The Great British Beach Clean is held annually by the Marine Conservation Society, an organisation with “an impressive past and an exciting future”. Each year, the MCS enlists thousands of volunteers to protect our marine life by helping to minimise litter. Therefore the focus is on cleaning up our beaches and rivers, as well as the ocean.

Why hold an annual cleaning event?

Each year more and more volunteers set out to help clean up our beaches. It’s a wonderful display of support for the cause, so why does the MCS still need to hold such a big event? The simple answer is that the amount of waste and litter in our oceans is not improving.

Disposing of waste in the ocean is a terrible habit. It is the result of years in which it has been common practice.

Each year more and more marine animals suffer from injuries as a result of ocean litter. And the damage doesn’t stop there. It’s also become apparent that ocean waste, especially plastics can cause direct harm to human life. Therefore, with approximately 5% of ocean waste washing back up onto our beaches, it is detrimental to marine life, to human life and to land-dwelling wildlife.

Litter found on beaches can be picked up by young children, this can then cause serious harm to them. Many parents and pet owners will stay away from those beaches which are littered. At this rate, it won’t be long until we see a decline in tourism in British seaside towns. The environmental and economic effects of ocean waste really is exceptionally far-reaching.

Not even experts know quite how much waste is in our oceans; this is due to the scale of the waste problem and the enormity of the ocean. However it is estimated that the sea currently holds at least 8 million metric tonnes of plastic alone. This type of waste can take a total of 450 years to break down. This means that, without annual beach clean up events, the earth will still be faced with today’s litter in 2468.

Where does the problem start?

Even if you’ve never dropped a crisp packet at the beach, it doesn’t mean you’re not part of the problem. That’s because marine waste doesn’t necessarily stem from people littering directly on the coast or in the ocean itself. Let’s look at the facts…

  • It is estimated that 80% of marine litter comes from people disposing of their waste incorrectly on land.
  • Therefore 80% of this pollution actually comes from society’s inability to dispose of litter in the bins provided.

At Broxap we believe in promoting the correct disposal of litter. Our range of recycling and litter bins are designed for installation in various environments and locations. This ensures that the general public will always have a robust and durable bin. No matter where you are, there really is no excuse for littering!

What can local authorities do?

Like all street furniture, public litter bins are an investment. Therefore you must make the right decision; opt for something which will be long-lasting and do the job correctly.

A coastal environment can be hostile for bins due to saltwater and sea air. Therefore bins in these areas need to be manufactured in a way which prevents corrosion. For example, our Broxap Marine Coating is just one of the steps we can take to maintain a bin’s longevity.

A recent project at Newbiggin by the Sea saw Broxap install over 50 bins. These bins lined the coast, meaning that they needed to be robust and durable and able to resist the hostile environment. Therefore Broxap manufactured the bins using:

  • 2mm Galvanised Steel for strength
  • D1036 Architectural Paint for exterior durability and colour retention

We also added a self-closing ash tray due to the high levels of cigarette waste on the coast. Providing a specialist cigarette disposal solution is important as you minimise fire risks as well as promoting the correct disposal of litter.

Broxap managed to take these preventative steps all the while retaining the traditional aesthetic of the sea side town.

Do your bit to save our beaches and oceans!

Why not join in with the 10,000 plus volunteers taking part in a cleaning event? You have a whole weekend to join in with picking up litter from around our beaches and rivers.

Can’t get to a beach clean up?

Even if it doesn’t offer the same fun as a day at the seaside, please make the effort to pick up litter wherever you are in the UK. This is now part of our responsibility as members of the human race.

Join Broxap in showing support for the Great British Beach Clean – it really is a vital cause.

Find out more about our coastal projects!